Alonso upbeat before losing point for track-limits penalty

Fernando Alonso says he didn’t expect McLaren to score a double-points finish in the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi, and declared the weekend “positive” – before he lost his point for exceeding track limits.

Following his outbursts over the radio last time out in Suzuka, Alonso was much more upbeat about the team's performance in Sochi, despite finishing seven seconds behind teammate Jenson Button on-the-road in 10th.

"It was a very positive weekend for us," said Alonso. "It's the first time we both finished in the points, so a nice result in place we didn't expect to be competitive.

"It seems we are going in the right direction, making good progress. Hopefully we'll find some more performance in the USA.

"The car performed quite well in the race, and we seemed to take care of the tyres more than the others. I'm happy with the weekend."

Update: Alonso loses point

Alonso lost his point for 10th place after the race due to a 5-second penalty for exceeding track limits, which handed his position to Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen.

Button: "I was a sitting duck"

Button made a storming start to the race, rising to 10th in the early stages but dropping back thereafter. Thanks to a high attrition rate, including Valtteri Bottas's last-lap exit, both McLarens finished on the lead lap and in the points.

"P9 is not too bad," said Button. "It was tricky, but we scored points doing the best we could do. I was a sitting duck, as they say, on the first couple of laps. I just couldn't fight with the people behind.

"On a one-stop strategy the [soft] tyres were working as well on the last lap as they did on the first. Obviously I was racing my teammate Fernando, and a couple of cars that had pitted and had to overtake us, which was quite fun, but I sort of enjoyed it, I guess as much as you can, fighting where we were.

"We won't solve our problems before the end of the year, [the hybrid power is] still cutting off very early on the straights, having to push for more deployment but then you don't have any on the other parts of the circuit.

"The worst thing is they're overtaking into Turn 12, which is a pretty scary place, and I can't see the closing speed of the car behind."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Russian GP
Track Sochi Autodrom
Drivers Jenson Button , Fernando Alonso
Article type Breaking news